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10 Best Dog Training Books – Positive Reinforcement, Tricks & Obedience

Written by Larese
Larese is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Wednesday 9 September 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
best dog training books
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If you want to be a real “dog’s whisperer,” you need to read dog training books. They will help you understand all the behavioral aspects and intellectual capabilities of all dog breeds. The online world has been feeding us almost with all the information that we need. However, these books for dog training will give you lessons on how to raise your furry friends. From the best puppy training book to behavior dog training books, we got you covered.

Training dogs is like raising a child. You need to let them know what is right and what is not to do. For dogs, it all starts with the power of positive dog training. There are dozens of books out there that are written by dog training experts on training methods that work best. Here’s a list of the best in the market.

10 Best Dog Training Books

This list of dog training books will teach you many things about training dogs and puppies. From basic commands to even some difficult dog tricks. These books on training dogs are your gateway towards training the best dog ever. Dog training videos, articles, and forums are useful. However, nothing beats the power of books on training dogs when it comes to learning new things.

dog training books
Dog training books are helpful!

1. 101 Dog Tricks

The 101 Dog Tricks book by Kyra Sundance teaches all training steps and dog tricks for all trainers of all levels. It is the most massive dog training book currently on the market that presents full-color photos. The 101 Dog Tricks book consists of a step-by-step approach, prerequisites for training dogs, suggestions on more complicated tricks, and more. With its quality and high-spirit informational content, no wonder why this book sold a million copies around the world. Moreover, Sundance also described how to transition away from using treats, and how you can add dog training into your schedule.

Kyra Sundance shared her secrets on successful 101 dog tricks. The author of this book for dog training is a world-renowned dog trainer, lecturer, and internationally best-selling author. Moreover, she inspired several dog owners worldwide in developing a fun and rewarding relationship with their furry buddy. In her 101 Dog Tricks book, Sundance describes each trick fully with unique labels as “easy,” “intermediate,” “advanced,” and “expert.”

Overall, it is an excellent book for training your dog. It involves both show and fancy dog tricks from “sit” to “play dead.” Moreover, the book also uses straightforward language to make sure that the reader can follow the steps. Some readers would say that the 101 Dog Trick book is only ideal if you are trying to get your dog on TV and that it has an enormous quantity of tricks. Regardless, it is a book that will teach you how to train your dog verbally and with gestures, divided into different level difficulties.

2. Training the Best Dog Ever

Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz wrote the Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement. This dog training book helps dog owners to teach the basic lessons in obedience and behavioral training. Moreover, it promotes creating a happy and well-balanced environment by eliminating punishment during training. Therefore, Training the Best Dog Ever book is about fostering a good relationship between the pet owner and the dog.

Larry Kay is a dog author that created the award-winning ANIMAL WOW dog care DVD for kids. He is also a frequent contributor to the magazine and publications of the American Animal Hospital Association. Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, on the other hand, was an American dog trainer. She was famous for training President Barack Obama’s dog, and three dogs of the late senator Edward Kennedy. However, she died on January 12, 2011, and left her legacy through her award-winning books.

This behavioral dog training book allowed pet owners to change the manners of their furry friends. As a result, this book won the Maxwell Medallion for Best Dog Training and Behavior book from the Dog Writers Association of America Awards. Moreover, it also bagged the first award from the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

3. Dog Training Revolution

Zak George and Dina Roth Port wrote one of the best books for teaching puppies respect today. Zak is a celebrity dog trainer and YouTube star, while Dina is the co-author who also worked in dozens of national publications like Glamour, WebMD, and The Huffington Post. Based on the authentic experience, Zak George wrote a book that revolutionized dog training methods.

The Dog Training Revolution is a behavioral book ideal for both primary and leash training. It also consists of housetraining tips, dog tricks, and how to choose a dog. Moreover, it also teaches pet owners how to pick the right food, and packed with some lessons on how you can decode and talk to your dog. The best thing about the Dog Training Revolution is that it also touches the perfect wellness and healthcare for your puppy. Zak’s book is definitely the ideal guide for both new dog owners or a veteran who wants to learn new things about dog training.

Apart from Zak’s YouTube videos, his readers also like that they get a handful of time and ideas about dog training. From picking the right puppy to dealing with behavioral issues, the Dog Training Revolution book will definitely make you the real “pack leader.” With all the love and support from the readers, this book has become one of the best puppy training books.

4. The Other End of the Leash

The Other End of the Leash is an obedience training book that covers basic and advanced dog training techniques, written uniquely. The book focuses on the interaction of the dog trainer with dogs instead of the other way around. Moreover, it also explains the human and canine psychology to understand the authors’ approach to training further. If you are a beginner, the Other End of the Leash is one of the best dog psychology books that you should read first. It is a dog training book that teaches its readers to break up the hardcore information through various real-life examples of behavioral experiences supported by robust scientific influence.

Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., is an exceptionally well-versed author when it comes to the science of canine training and human technology. A highly experienced and knowledgeable speaker on dog behavior who has presented seminars all over the United States and other European countries. Moreover, She is famous for using an evidence-based approach in explaining dog training techniques. As a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) Emeritus, you can expect real-life examples of canine and feline behavior and dog training.

The Other End of the Leash is a good read that offers a lot of wisdom for every dog owner who aims to build a meaningful partnership with their dogs. However, the lack of photos and illustrations is probably one of the weakest links that most readers find in the book. When it comes to explaining how to train your dog, this book is definitely a prerequisite. It may lack in some visuals, but it provides a foundation training your best furry bud.

5. The Art of Raising a Puppy

Written by the Monks of New Skete, the Art of Raising a Puppy is one of the best dog training books for new puppy parents. The year 2001 was its original publishing date, with a revised version and updated information in 2011. Monks of New Skete is a group of two Orthodox Christian monastic communities in Cambridge, New York founded in 1966. The group has an intensive and decades of experience in training various dog breeds and specifically raising countless of German Shepherds.

The Art of Raising a Puppy is more of a training and behavioral dog training book that helps every pet owner raise their puppy. The book talks about the basic commands during the puppy’s early developmental stages. Those kisses, cuteness, and snuggles of bringing a new pet at home is one thing. As your puppy starts to sleep in your house, you should also teach him to adjust to his or her new home.

One problem that readers find in the Art of Raising a Puppy book is that it lacks imagery and visual instruction. Presentation aside, a lot of pet owners still believe that it is an excellent and informative book for new puppy owners. It helps you fully understand what is going on with a puppy’s mind and learn the proper obedience training whenever they make mistakes.

6. The Power of Positive Dog Training

Are you having a hard time building relationships and authoritative powers over your dogs? Pat Miller’s book is here to save you. The Power of Positive Dog Training will help you understand how you should react with everybody’s language. Moreover, it comes with a diary so that you can document your dog’s progress as you go along Miller’s training program. If you have trouble understanding your dog and other training terms, this is a must-read for you. However, this book is only for pet parents with adult dogs or those who want to have a better realization of dogs’ reactions.

For more than 40 years, Pat Miller has been training dogs and dedicated her professional life to animals. Miller became a horse trainer in Wisconsin, then a Humane Officer at the Marin Humane Society in California for 20 years. Being a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant are her most recent milestones. She was able to share her experience through her six-week program the details about training dogs using positive reinforcement.

Overall, the Power of Positive Dog Training book is helpful for novice dog owners. However, according to some readers, some techniques written in the book seem to encourage bad behavior.

7. Perfect Puppy in 7 Days

Sophia Yin also wants to help you train your dog to be more well-socialized and polite, especially towards new people. It is suitable for dog owners who usually go out with their dogs for runs and daily walk exercises. The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days may sound too over-promising, but this book is ideal for training social skills, manners, and potty training of your dog. From its title, the book teaches proper training during the first seven days after adopting your new puppy.

Yin is a doctor of veterinary sciences, animal behaviorist, and author. She believed that the first seven days of a newly adopted puppy in your home is crucial. This short period creates a blueprint for your puppy’s behavior, as they generate expectations from you as their parent. Most of Yin’s techniques developed through her research, discoveries, and rigorous testing. In 2014, Dr. Yin died, but her legacy in the field of animal behavior is very much alive.

The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days dog training book uses pictures and “how-to” exercises, which immensely helped readers in understanding different training methods. Overall, this book is ideal for new puppy owners, or pet parents who want to start dog training quickly. However, take note that the practices of this dog training book require you to be with your puppy, almost uninterrupted, for the full week.

perfect puppy book
The Perfect Puppy In 7 Days is ideal for new puppy owners.

8. Training Your Own Service Dog

Have you been looking for military training books? The Training Your Own Service Dog by Lelah Sullivan is one of the best dog training books for rescue dogs available today. This book is a guide for teaching new dog skills to be a more effective companion. However, getting a service dog can be lengthy, and the process may get quite expensive.

Lelah Sullivan is a retired service dog trainer who covers the most basic training for dogs. After working for 50 years being a dog trainer and life coach, she decided to write a book to help those pet owners who need some extra help in training their service dogs. It is more recommendable to work with a licensed service dog agency to cover all the dog’s needs.

Overall, the Training Your Own Service Dog is a self-training guide so that pet owners can behave their service dogs. Through thorough learning of Sullivan’s steps, service dogs can follow a variety of commands. Readers really loved the concise and detailed information when training service animals.

9. Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From the book’s title, it focuses on preparations before a puppy comes to your home, and other dog training techniques after getting your new furry friend.

The goal of Before and After Getting Your Puppy book prepares new puppy owners in all aspects before living in their new home. It will help you create a solid foundation and be ready to become a new puppy parent. It is a guide that covers a lot of ideas from selecting a puppy to teaching them basic obedience lessons.

Dr. Ian Dunbar, the author, is a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. He received his veterinary degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College. Then, he got his doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at the University of California in Berkeley.

With extensive knowledge, experience, and background in animal behavior, Dr. Dunbar presents his theories and tips with real-life experiences supported by scientific explanations.

10. The Puppy Primer


The Puppy Primer is the top choice for professional dog trainers who want to understand more about training different dog breeds. In her book, Dr. Patricia B. McConnell covers crate training, behavior, and housetraining for your new puppy. It is ideal for reinforcing positive training techniques and emotional control through fun games and learning environments. If you are looking for a comprehensive book full of fun and troubleshooting tips for raising a puppy, the Puppy Primer is for you.

Dr. McConnell is an animal behavior consultant, writer, and family dog trainer that authored 13 more books. Each chapter focuses on specific challenges to align new development methods for your new puppy. She believes in the importance of early dog training. As a result, most of her books are about anticipating when and where the puppy or the pet parent may become stressed or overwhelmed. Dr. McConnell provides reasonable and functional solutions for those situations.

Readers call this book a life-changer. Pet owners said that they learned various training exercises through tangible and easy-to-follow techniques. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro trainer, you’ll love that the Puppy Primer features helpful hints of positive reinforcement based on scientific facts. As a pet owner, you should also take a realistic approach to your expectations from training your new puppy.

how to become a dog trainer
Depending on the country or region, certification is available for additional credentials.

Dog Training Books – FAQs

We all know that training dogs are challenging, but it is definitely worth every effort and time spend. So, hopefully, our list helped you find the best training books for your dogs through our list. Finally, let’s take a look at some of the commonly asked questions in most dog training books.

How do you establish dominance over your dog?

Recent studies have disproved pack mentality in wolves and dogs and have found that dogs view us to be a family unit instead. Therefore, you do not need to establish dominance over your dog in the ways that are expected. Instead, it is essential to set boundaries and become more calm-assertive. Training should begin at an early age and a dog should never be forced or scared into behaving a certain manner.

What are the seven basic dog commands?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), you should teach your dog five commands. It includes teaching a dog how to “come”, “losing the leash walking”, to “sit”, to “stay”, and “lay down”.

Professional trainers also suggest training your dogs with the “Off” command to teach your dog that it jumps off people, or when climbing inappropriately on furniture. The “Don’t touch” command is also essential in case your dog finds something that is not good.

What are the principles for housebreaking a dog?

The process of housebreaking doesn’t have to be stressful for you and your puppy. The best way to housebreak your furry friend is to establish a routine with positive reinforcement. It will create a schedule of times for meal, play, and potty training.

You can take out your dog on a specific time to play, or go to a spot where they can poop. It would also be helpful if you can give rewards every time they eliminate outdoors or follow your commands.

How do you train to become a dog trainer?

If you want to become a professional dog trainer, you need to have at least a high school diploma and previous experience working with animals. Take note that dog training requires active listening skills, patience, compassion, and physical stamina. Moreover, you also need to have problem-solving skills and ethical observational judgments.

You can also become a dog trainer even without a license, by gaining more experience with dogs. Depending on the country or region, certification is available for additional credentials. You can start watching YouTube videos, taking online courses, and reading the best dog training books. You can become a dog trainer for your furry friend, and you don’t have to have a license for it.

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